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E-commerce Competitive Opportunities Lie in Product Returns, comScore Says

6 Jun, 2012 By: Jackie Jones

RESTON, Va. – Though a majority – 86 percent – of consumers report being satisfied with their online shopping experiences, opportunities for improved customer relations and potential future sales exist in the area of product returns, according to the latest survey from comScore Inc.

About 63 percent of online shoppers look at an E-commerce retailer’s return policy before making a purchase, and an easier return or exchange policy significantly improves a brand’s competitive position, comScore found.

“While free shipping has tended to dominate the discussion regarding what provides satisfaction to online shoppers, the study shows there are several other factors critical to a positive online shopping experience,” said Susan Kleinman, comScore director. “Retailers need a holistic understanding of these drivers if they hope to stimulate sales while maintaining healthy margins in this competitive retail environment.”

The study highlights the value in driving customer loyalty for E-commerce retailers, according to comScore. Consumers are currently most satisfied with the ease of checking out, the variety of brands and products available, and online delivery tracking ability. They are least satisfied with the current level of flexibility in choosing delivery dates, comScore reported.

At least 42 percent of online shoppers have abandoned their online shopping carts because of delivery timing estimates, and 48 percent are not willing to wait more than five days for packages to be delivered. Forty-six percent of online shoppers said receiving orders when expected would lead them to recommend the online retailer, as well.

“This is important intelligence that can be put to use immediately,” said Alan Gershenhorn, UPS’ chief sales and marketing officer. “Online retailers of any size can win more business during this year’s holiday season if they prepare now to offer a better shopping experience. UPS recognized some time ago that online customers are expecting speed, convenience and flexibility after they click to buy.”

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